November 1984 Newsletter


November 1984 Newsletter


Congresses; Germanists; Feminism



The Coalition of Women in German, an allied organization of the MLA, invites students, teachers and all others interested in Feminism and German Studies to subscribe to the newsletter. See the last page of this issue for rates.

Women in German Steering Committee;

Ritta Jo Horsley, U. Mass., Boston (1981-84)

Almut R. Poole, Los Angeles (1981-84)

Jeannine Blackwell, Michigan State U. (1982-85)
   Political Action Committee

Barbara D. Wright, U. Conn., Storrs (1982-85)
   Political Action Committee

Sandra Frieden, U. Houston (1983-86)
   Fundraising Coordinator

Edith Waldstein, M.I.T. (1983-86)
   Conference Coordinator, 1984
   Coeditor (with Marianne Burkhard, U. Illinois), Women in German Yearbook (1982-     )

Dinah Dodds, Lewis and Clark Coll. (1984-87)
   Conference Coordinator, 1985

Sydna Weiss, Hamilton Coll. (1984-87)
   Textbook Review Committee

The Women in German Newsletter is published in March, August and November of each year. Send newsletter items to:

Susan L. Coealis
Dept. of German-
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003

Table of Contents: Page #

Fritz Achberger Memorial  ... 1-2
WIG Projects ... 2
Aus Unserem Briefkasten ... 4
WIG 1984 ...  6
   What do Feminist Germanists Want . . . 7
   Women and Humor ... 11
   Practical Feminist Strategies for Teaching ... 14
   Witches and Wise Women ... 17
   Concluding Session ... 20
   Letter from Karin... 22
   Business and Planning Meeting ... 23
Calls for Papers ... 30
Books ... 35
WIG Research Projects ... 37
WIG Membership List ...  42
Subscriptions/Membership Form ... 49


Number 35
November 1984

It still looks like November outside my window, but the calendar already says December—no use trying to deny it, I'm late with this newsletter. By the time this reaches some of you, it'll be time to assemble the March newsletter—only it won't be me doing it by then, Gottin sei dank. The day before (you guessed it) Thanksgiving, Susan Cocalis called to say that things were going to work out for her and the U. Mass, graduate students to take over the newsletter! From now on, send newsletter items to Susan Cocalis, Dept. of German—Herter Hall, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003. Continue to send membership/subscription money and address changes to me, Jeanette Clausen, Dept. of Modern Foreign Languages, Indiana U.-Purdue U., Fort Wayne, IN 46805.

As always at this time of year, the newsletter contains reports on the October conference, which was once again an exhilarating experience. Our two guests from the GDR, Irmtraud Morgner and Helga Schütz, arrived as planned and with­out apparent mishap, thanks to the unflagging efforts of many Wiggies, among them Martha Wallach, Margaret Ward, Edith Waldstein, Kay Goodman and Karen Achberger. Also, over 100 of us registered for the conference this year— the largest number ever—and what's more, most of those who registered actually showed up, necessitating some pretty fancy backing and forthing to find every­one a place to sleep. Margaret, Edith and others in the Boston area solved the problem by taking people home with them each night, since there simply weren't enough beds on the island. There was also a larger number of "first­timers" at this year's conference than ever before, and because the group was so big, it simply wasn't possible to get (re-)acquainted with everyone. I think we're still struggling to come to terms with the implications of how WIG has been growing and changing over the years. You'll see signs of the struggle in the conference reports and in our plans for next year, when the conference will move to the West Coast (finally!). For information about next year's conference site in Portland, Oregon see page 26. Dinah Dodds (Lewis and Clark Coll.) and Charlotte Smith (Seattle) will be the conference coordinators. Our guest for the 1985 conference will be feminist linguist Luise Pusch, author of Das Deutsche als Männersprache (Suhrkamp 1984), indefatigable researcher/writer on women who've been left out of history, and all-around good person.

The 1984 WIG conference was saddened for all of us who know and love Karen and Fritz Achberger. As most of you know by now, Fritz and Karen were in an automobile accident in late September. Fritz was killed instantly. Karen is recovering from her injuries and will have a long convalescence. You can write to Karen at her home address [redacted]. A memorial fund for Fritz has been established by the University of Minnesota; the money contributed to the fund will be used for scholarships to enable students to go to Graz, Austria, which is where Fritz was from. Tax-deductible contributions can be sent to:


(Memorial Fund, continued)

Achberger Memorial Fund
Minnesota Foundation
120 Morrill Hall
Minneapolis, MN 55455

The 1984 WIG conference was dedicated to the memory of Fritz Achberger and Margaret Brearley. Margaret, a WIG member for several years, taught at Bates College. Her health had been somewhat shaky for a number of years; still, her death last spring came unexpectedly quickly, a shock for those who were close to her. A memorial fund has been established for her; to contribute, write to Denis Sweet (Bates College) or Dorothy Rosenberg (Colby College).


WIG Yearbook: the first WIG Yearbook (Vol. I, 1982), forthcoming for quite some time now, may have actually come forth by the time you read this. Scheduled to be sent to "our" publisher, the University Press of America, by the end of the year, it should be available in early spring 1985. Coeditors Marianne Burkhard and Edith Waldstein also report that Vol. II (1983) of the yearbook is well on its way and that submissions for Vol. Ill (1984) will be accepted until Feb. 1, 1985. The contents of the first volume are:

WOMEN IN GERMAN YEARBOOK - VOL. I, ed. Marianne Burkhard and Edith Waldstein (University Press of America, 1985).

  1. Jeanette Clausen, The Coalition of Women in German: An Interpretive History and Celebration.
  2. Sigrid Weigel, Das Schreiben des Mangels als Produktion von Utopie.
  3. Jeannine Blackwell, Anonym, verschollen, trivial: Methodological Hindrances in Researching Women's Literature.
  4. Martha Wallach, Ideal and Idealized Victims: The Lost Honor of the Marquise von 0., Effi Briest and Katharina Blum in Prose and Film.
  5. Anna Kuhn, Margarete von Trotta's Sisters: Interiority or Engage­ment .
  6. Barbara D. Wright, The Feminist Transformation of Foreign Language Teaching.
  7. Jeanette Clausen, Broken But Not Silent: Language as Experience in Vera Kamenko's Unter uns war Krieg.
  8. Richard L. Johnson, The New West German Peace Movement: Male Dominance or Feminist Nonviolence.


(WIG Yearbook, continued)

If you order your copy in advance, you'll receive it without delay. To preorder, write to Marianne Burkhard, Dept. of German, 3072 Foreign Language Bldg., 707 S. Mathews, U. of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801. The price will be about $10.00; you'll be billed for the exact amount.
* * * * *

Textbook Reviews: The second round of WIG textbook reviews, edited by Barbara Wright, was distributed to those attending the October conference and was recently mailed to all the rest of you. Please be sure to pass the reviews on to those who still maintain a lowered consciousness in matters of feminist critiques of teaching materials. The steering committee member now in charge of textbook reviews is Sydna (Bunny) Weiss at Hamilton College. Let her know your concerns in this area, and offer to help on the new text­book project.

For other news of WIG projects, see the summary of the October business meeting, pp. 23-26.
* * * * *

WIG Steering Committee Changes: The steering committee members serve staggered three-year terms; two new members are elected at the October con­ference each year. Those elected this year are Sydna Weiss (Hamilton Coll.) and Dinah Dodds (Lewis and Clark Coll.).

The Political Action "slot" on the steering committee, vacant during 1984, has now been accepted by two committee members, Jeannine Blackwell (Michigan State U.) and Barbara D. Wright (U. Conn., Storrs). See the inside front cover of this newsletter for a complete list of current steering committee members.

AATG, MLA 1984

WIG sponsored two panels at this year's AATG, one on Women Women and German Film. Both were scheduled for unpopular time slots, but drew a good-sized audience anyway. WIG is sponsoring two sessions at this year's MLA, one entitled "(Re)Making Myth in German Women's Writing" (Dec. 28, 7:15 pm) and one entitled "Appropriating Faust" (Dec. 29, 3:30 pm). Also of interest is the special session "Reevaluating Ingeborg Bachmann's Prose" (Dec. 29, 8:30 am). We hope to have summaries of all the presentations from these pro­grams in time for the March newsletter.

In addition, WiG members have asked me to call attention to the following MLA events:

Sat., Dec. 29, 1:45 pm
Independence Room, Hilton


(GRADUATE EDUCATION IN THE 1990's, continued)

One of the presenters on this panel is Jeannine Blackwell, who will present statistical information on women in German departments since 1963, including information on tenure and promotion.

* * * * *

WIG member Karen Kossuth has produced some 20 computer programs for CAI in German. She invites you to visit her demonstration at the IBM booth at the MLA, or to write for information to:

Academic Software
Claremont, CA 91711


Letters to WIG are always welcome and appreciated, whether they get published in the newsletter or not. Here are some excerpts that I wanted to pass on to all of you.

"Ich lege Ihnen meinen Antrag auf Mitgliedschaft in Ihrer Organisation bei. Falls Sie irgendwann etwas hören sollten von einer feministisch gesinnten Forscherin, die auf das Nibelungenlied spezialisiert ist, so wäre ich Ihnen für die Mitteilung ihrer Adresse sehr dankbar. Mit meiner Idee, dass das Nibelungenlied höchstwahrscheinlich von einer Frau stammt, befinde ich mich nämlich in einer sehr starken Isolierung. Der Kampf, den ich führe, ist insofern besonders schwer, weil ich nicht nur selbst eine Frau bin und auch einer Frau zu grösserem Ruhm verhelfen möchte, sondern weil ich darüberhinaus auch Nichtakademikerin bin. Als ein "background paper" für das, was ich zur Zeit als mein grösstes feministisches Anliegen empfinde, lege ich Ihnen einen populär gehaltenen Artikel bei . . . . "

Mit freundlichen Grüssen
Berta Engelmann, Secretary
Department of German
Wilfried Laurier U.
Waterloo, Ont. Canada N2L 3C5

(The enclosed article is entitled "Die wichtigsten Verdachtsmomente für eine weibliche Verfasserschaft des Nibelungenliedes," and appears in Feminismus. Inspektion der Herrenkultur, ed. Luise Pusch, Suhrkamp 1983. Many of you are probably already familiar with Engelmann's article on the same topic which appeared in Monatshefte in 1980.)

* * * * *


Aus unserem Briefkasten, continued

"I just returned [in September 1984] from Berlin where I taught during the summer semester at the Free University a "Frauenseminar" on Sophie La Roche (there is, of course, no such thing as a "Männerseminar"), and a "Vorlesung," "Autorinnen zur Zeit der Romantik" with a colloquium. There was a great deal of interest in these topics and in a feminist approach which is usually only offered in a "Übung," if at all. (I am still reading term papers, reports, letters, inquiries about topics for "Staatsexamensarbeiten" etc.). Ingeborg Drewitz came and spoke about her study Bettine von Arnim. Romantik, Revolution, Utopie; the students had lots of questions for her. Another guest was Luise F. Pusch on language and women; her feminist study Das Deutsche als Männersprache has just appeared with Suhrkamp and should be interest to Wiggies. It also contains the "Sprachglossen" Pusch did for the—unfortunately now defunct—Courage. Wiggies visiting Berlin may be interested in visiting the Women's Studies office (its bureaucratic name "Zentraleinrichtung zur Förderung von Frauenstudien und Frauenforschung"), [redacted]. They have a good collection of German women's studies publications, current information on what's happening at the Free University (and in Berlin) concerning women and women's studies, and they publish a very informative "Frauen-Informationsblatt" each semester.
All the best . . . . "

Bärbel Becker-Cantarino
University of Texas, Austin

* * * * *

"Being out of the country and having missed all the various conferences, i must be more responsible about keeping in touch. So, here is a good news report to you/WIG. The trip last year to Africa was fascinating, and we were able to talk to a fairly varied group of women, although not as many as we would have liked in the Black African countries. In North Africa, we were incredibly received and heard a lot about the problems the different women's groups are having, both university and community, in relation to the state.
In Algeria, the group we met had been "kicked out" of the research center because their work was too subjective—i.e., poetry had been included in their publications. And the group in Morroco, who depended upon the "maison du culture," also lost this support. We are in the process of putting together a collection of essays for the Belgian publication "Les cahiers du grif," which may be ready next fall.

I have finally come to the decision that the dissertation topic on which i have been suffering for too many years will never be finished, and that i must change my topic if what i want is to stay in academia. So when i arrived back in the US i presented the popular women's fiction project to my program and—i must be in a lucky stage of my life—they accepted. A wonderful new committee and more advice than i've had in all the years i've been working on the other topic. So my new topic is "Myth of Independence: Popular Women's Fiction in the US, France and Germany." Any suggestions people may have on the German side would of course be much appreciated.


Aus unserem Briefkasten, continued

Other good news. The "Women in Academe" came out as a book in July 1984, published by Pergamon. I don't know how accessible it is, Pergamon doesn't seem to be the most visible. And the second piece of news is that the issue was awarded Honorable Mention for the "Best Single Issue of a Journal," by the Association of American Publishers: Professional and Scholarly Pub­lishing Division.

I have an assistantship for the coming year to transcribe the interviews we did in Africa; and to work on the European section of my diss.; i'm going to spend the next year in Paris: 2 rue Emile Lepeu, Paris 75011, tel. (1) 370-92-10. If anyone should be passing through .... i'm sorry to be missing this year's WIG conference, and send my best to everyone."

Resa Dudovitz

* * * * *

"I'm in Vienna for yet another year. My mailing address until June 85 will be Barawitzkag 6/11, A-1190 WIEN, Austria. This summer I was in the US briefly, spending most of my time in Texas in the library—the only cool place. The WIG conference looks exciting. Sorry to be missing it again.
. . . My dissertation project is "Gegen die gedachte Linie: Feminism and Austrian Women Writers." It concentrates on 1) Haushofer, 2) Bachmann, 3) Frischmuth, 4) Jelinek, 5) Schwaiger. Hope the weather’s better than here in Vienna."

Jackie Vansant

WIG 1984

The summaries published here present only a very partial picture of what the WIG conference was like. For one thing, not all presenters sent summaries of their presentations. Those of you who weren't able to attend the conference will especially miss reports of the evenings spent with Helga Schütz and Irmtraud Morgner; maybe those will be ready in time for the March issue of the newsletter. Another thing that's inevitably absent from these reports is the give-and-take of discussion, which is for many of us the most significant part of the conference. And of course, no mere description can give you any real idea of our second annual WIG Kabarett, in which every participating Wiggie gets to wear a wig. To prove my point, here's a summary:

LATE Saturday evening . . .


A Play in Approximately Five and a Half Scenes

Continuing our recent tradition of the WIG Kabarett and reinforcing the notion of "back to the classics," we this year presented Faustine, with no apologies


WIG 1984, continued

to anyone, least of all you-know-who. Jeannine Blackwell portrayed an appropriately bewildered and docile Faustine, Susan Cocalis was voluptuous as "Das ewig Weibliche," and Dagmar Lorenz showed us yet another side of her talents as a punk Mephisto. The story goes like this: Faustine traded her soul for a Ph.D. in German, agreeing to lose if she ever says to her dissertation those fatal words "Verweile doch..." For success in Germanistik, the Mothers advised her to grow a penis or, failing that, to go into Systems Analysis; the Witches stripped away her Dress-for-Success outfit and led her and the audience in putting hexes on all our least favorite individuals and institutions.

See what we mean?

—Summary by Jeannine Blackwell and Jeanette Clausen

Thursday evening, October 18

Moderator: Dorothy Rosenberg, Colby College

"Hiring and Hierarchies"

What do feminist Germanists want and need? In an obvious nutshell, we want emotional, intellectual, and professional fulfillment. Because this goal is even more difficult to achieve than ever when two partners are in the academic job squeeze, my talk was full of problems, questions, and, at best, options.
I left it up to the discussion participants to help me and each other to come up with positive solutions.

To a large extent, we have very few options, since the job market makes many of the choices for us. We do, however, have to decide before applying the extent to which we want to bring our personal life into the application process. At what point do you mention your academic (possibly even Germanist) partner: from the start? at the interview? never? Assuming you apply separately, however, there are various options in the event of offers. These somewhat hypothetical options include: 1) to take the better of the two jobs, 2) to commute indefinitely, each partner taking her/his favorite (or only) offer, 3) to try to share a position, and 4) to wing it. Clearly the last option is the only viable choice, though the others have advantages as well.

The suggestion of taking the "better" job and having the other partner come along often has a hidden agenda, namely that each partner feels his/her job will be the "better" one. It often boils down to comparing apples and oranges, and there is bound to be resentment down the line. If each partner takes a job


WIG 1984, continued

and one or both commute, however, we are faced with the problem of incessant adaptation to a new lifestyle. As soon as you get used to being alone, some­one comes along and has needs too! And when you've adapted to those needs and become accustomed to having someone around, you're alone again.
Relationships tend to suffer without a common ground of experience, too. Though sharing a position seems ideal, it isn't. The advantages of geograph­ical proximity, shared experience, and opportunity for more research and/or family time are real. But you are often being exploited by the institution, which gets, in effect, two for the price of one. When the same people are constantly judging you, the competition factor is also very real.

So back to winging it. Talking to others in two-career relationships has shown me that there have to be individual solutions to each individual problem. An important postscript. In the discussion it was brought up that lesbians and other relatively "unconventional" couples have a much more difficult time than heterosexual married couples, for whom there is beginning to be some small degree of understanding in some institutions. One positive suggestion: I feel that the most important thing you can do in this most difficult situ­ation is to maintain a non-adversarial relationship with your partner There must be some measure of solidarity when facing the competitive environment we are forced to experience every day.

—Gail Newman
Williams College

"The Chosen Other: Myths and Monoliths"

Is there a contradiction between being Jewish and studying Germanistik? First: what is my personal/internal definition of Jewishness? This is a complicated issue that involves questions of legitimacy, identity and alle­giance. External definitions of Jewishness make up the "monolith" that my title refers to. The "monolith", the presumptions/assumptions originating "outside", locates Jewishness as a tangible absolute that provides an intellectual and social role to step into: a Jew is an "instant" intellec­tual. This monolith chooses not to recognize its own "Kehrseite", in which the paradigm of "intellectual" Jew can slip into that of the cunning/shrewd/ "morally inferior" Jew. The monolith also fails to recognize the complexi­ties, ambiguities and ambivalence—the humanness, in a way—of Jewish expe­rience. A discussion of the monolith of lesbian-feminist identity provides both parallel and contrast. A further question: is my rejection of the Jewish monolith a fear of complacency, of using my selfhood as a weapon of political expediency?

-- Leslie Morris
U. Mass., Amherst

[image: Fig. II, 17 HERRADE. Superbia, from the Hortus Deliciarum.]


WIG 1984, continued

"Inside/Outside Academe"

For a brief moment in history, in the early 60's in America it seemed as if the small, closed society of scholars would open its scope and widen its numbers. I was among those who tried to get into the opening—only to find the doors closing heavily on me.

Wiggies search tirelessly for small cracks and most find one. Also they keep the vision alive. That vision sparked a response in women in New York.

Although most of us are outside of academe and many never have been inside at all, we are able to share in the exciting process of giving women's writing greater importance and building bridges from German writers to America. Moreover we are also addressing creative writing impulses within ourselves.

We give each other support in not losing sight of our ideals and to explore together new roads to learning and to living.

—Marianne Landré Goldscheider
New York City

"Germanistik in Women's Studies"

The problematic relationship of Germanistik and Women's Studies begins with labelling: most often, when American feminists refer to women writers or artists, they mean English-speaking writers and artists. We need, as Elizabeth Minnich has emphasized, to remember the prefixes: women are not only women, they are old or young or Black or—German. Our respon­sibility, then, as Germanists, is to introduce that prefix into the minds of the Women's Studies programs that inhabit many of our colleges and universities.

As to our strength as feminist Germanists: after a year in Munich and a lecture tour and attendance at a number of con­ferences relating to feminist issues, I can report that there is considerable growth on that side of the ocean in the numbers of those involved or interested in feminist theory as it can be applied to our field: a growth we have already seen demonstrated on our side of the ocean in our American Germanistik. I would suspect that thanks to WIG, we are probably being heard more than any other foreign language group of feminists. We haven't the outlet that the Germans have; we haven't the great numbers of willing publishers, small and large, who can publicize our findings, but we have still made inroads—particularly into the Academy, where German feminist Ger­manists are a marginal group, if that.

But we need to make ourselves more visible even so. And some of us already are, by taking an active role in Women's Studies programs. Mine is a case in point: I have been active on the governing council of the University of Minnesota Women's Studies program almost since my arrival in Minnesota, have taught courses in its Feminist Studies in Literature program, have taken part in its


WIG 1984, continued

conferences. But now I have a particular opportunity to spread our message: last spring, I was made the Director of the new Center for Advanced Feminist Studies at Minnesota, a research center that also offers a minor in femi­nist studies for M.A. and Ph.D. students in almost any field. Including German. I shall do what I can to make them aware of me, while at the same time expanding my own sights. Interdisciplinary or cross-disciplinary efforts are important for us all; that is one thing Women's Studies can teach us. And I shall make every effort to internationalize the Center while I am there on my 2-year term. Without much money it will be hard, but I intend to invite speakers (certainly Luise Pusch, if we can get her to WIG next year), to set up conferences in which Germanists will also play a role, and to initiate discussion on every level about the need for prefixes.

If I have any concerns, they center around the tenuous balance between asserting ourselves as Germanists and our molding into the larger group of feminists. For we should not only intend to find a common ground among ourselves; we should also assert and protect our own uniqueness and indivi­duality—we should not, in other words, deny the prefixes. For we and the literature we investigate are as interesting for our differences as for our similarities. The peculiar situation of German women, their slow growth in consciousness, their often agonizing progress toward legal equality, are terribly important factors and must not be ignored. In the long run, a blurring of the edges is not useful. Interdisciplinary work is often con­demned as sloppy and unrigorous, but we can only fight that objection if we are precise and informed about our own particular literature before we start diving into other literatures or disciplines.

So we need our own community as well. But as in any human relationship, it is the attempt to find a common meeting ground without eliminating or ignoring the differences that will make us succeed. We should be a voice for Germanistik in Women's Studies as well as powerful spokespeople for our own field. It is as simple—and as complex—as that!

—Ruth-Ellen B. Joeres
U. Minnesota

"A Common Difference? Gay Liberation and Feminism"

More than ever, common ground must be found for progressive forces to work together. The point of my talk was simply to display various kinds of evi­dence. Fundamentally, gay people almost by definition come into conflict with the ruling mores of patriarchal society. This conflict does not remain abstract but takes on very real and concrete forms: forms of suffering and oppression. Patriarchal domination has as its butt not only women but also gay men. Kate Millet in her book Sexual Politics points out the progressive impetus of Jean Genet's writings: "Genet explores the pathology of virility, the chimera of sexual congress as a paradigm of power over other human beings He appears to be the only living male writer of first-class literary gifts to have transcended the sexual myths of our era. His critique of the hetero­sexual politic points the way toward a true sexual revolution, a path which must be explored if any radical social change is to come about."


WIG 1984, continued

There is a certain hopefulness in those lines written in the sixties. But the attempt to air out reigning notions of gender and sexuality continue to meet with the staunchest resistance. Those who have most forcefully tried to do just that (Pier Paolo Pasolini, Harvey Milk, Mario Mieli, Rainer Fassbinder, for example) have been murdered or have committed suicide. It remains for us to continue on with a utopian thrust to our thinking, a kind of permanent Jacobinism (to use Hans Mayer's phrase). The danger from the right is clear, but there is also another danger: "The purpose of liberali­sation, for the present system, is above all to prevent and block any genuine liberation." The presenter of this paper believes that these words of Mario Mieli must be taken to heart.
-- Denis M. Sweet
Bates College

Friday Morning, October 19

Coordinator: Karen R. Achberger, St. Olaf College
Moderator: Sheila Johnson, Rice University

"HUMOR:  positive and black in the prose works of women writing in German since ca. 1970"

The early seventies saw a tendency toward the integration of positive humor in women's writing in German (e.g. Frischmuth, Erler, Kirsch, Schutz, Morgner), a "berghohe Welle" of a phenomenon not limited by political boundaries. The lovely theories and hopes of these years have shown themselves slow to achieve realization. The humor in women's fiction began to reflect disillusionment, became darker (e.g. Morgner), remained bitter (e.g. Wohmann, Eisner, Reinig, Jelinek, Novak), or disappeared, at least until recently (e.g. Frischmuth, Konig, Erler, Kirsch).

Historical and psychological theories about humor have their useful sides for women writers (for women in general). A few relevant books on the historical relationship of humor and the comic to literature are the 1976, Preisendanz/ Waring volume, Das Komische and the 1982 Grimm/Hincks Zwischen Satire und Utopie:   Zur Komiktheorie und zur Geschichte der Komödie. One volume written by a woman touches somewhat humorlessly on our topic: Gorgina Baum's Humor und Satire in der bürgerlichen Aesthetik (1959).

Why aren't there more works by women on the subject of humor and the comic in German literature??????

For laughs try Titters 101. An Introduction to Women's Literature, Anne Beatts, Judith Jacklin, Deanne Stillman (Perigee, 1984).

—Sheila Johnson
Rice University


WIG 1984, continued

"Das Unbehagen am Humor"

Ausgehend von der ideologisch oft fragwürdigen Rolle des Humors in Werken des 19. Jahrhunderts, besonders was die Darstellung von Frauen und Minori­täten (Juden) angeht mit einem Seitenblick auf Raabe, Freytag, Busch u.a. werden typische Aspekte des Humors aufgezeigt, z. B. das Erreichen von Unverbindlichkeit des Gesagten—bei Thomas Mann oft als das souveräne Uber- den-Dingen-Schweben bewundert—, die Relativierung einzelner Textkomponenten, die Möglichkeit des Aussprechens ohne Verbindlichkeit und letztlich vorge­spiegelte Standpunktlosigkeit, die es ermöglicht, auch gegen Minoritäten Gerichtetes zu artikulieren ohne zur Verantwortung gezogen werden zu können. Es wird erwogen, ob die Lieblingstechnik des Realismus und Postrealismus, das humorvolle indirekte Sprechen der vorwiegend bürgerlichen und klein­bürgerlichen Autoren des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts auch in der Frauenliteratur die oben angeführten Eigenschaften der Verantwortungs- und Standpunktslosigkeit aufweisen kann—eine Frage, die durch die Analyse von Texten von Reinig, Elsner und Jelinek bejaht wird—und ob Humor als Modus literarischen Sprechens überhaupt in Frauentexten ein Desiderat ist.

—Dagmar C. G. Lorenz
Ohio State University

"Lichte Augenblicke:
Feminismus, Humor und Wissenschaft"

"einen lichten Augenblick haben - kurze Zeit bei klarem Verstand sein (Geisteskranker); (fig.) plötzlich klare Einsicht haben."

—Wahrig, Deutsches Wörterbuch

'"Je wichtiger ein Gegenstand ist, um so lustiger muss man ihn behandeln,' sagt Heine. Er muss es ja wissen als Aussenseiter von Geburt."

—Luise F. Pusch, Das Deutsche als Männersprache, p. 12.

I agree with Kate Clinton that the dichotomy between humorous and serious is a false one. (Kate Clinton, "Making Light: Another Dimension. Some Notes on Feminist Humor," Trivia: A Journal of Ideas, Fall 1982, pp. 37-42). I believe that humor can create possibilities for feminists to crack open the structures of scholarly discourse, making space for the feelings, fantasies, dreams, desires, etc. that are otherwise excluded.

In my presentation, I emphasized that it is not a question of humor per se, but of feminist humor. Some definitions:

"By women's humor, I don't mean women being funny. I mean a humor which recognizes a common oppression, notices its source and the roles it requires, identifies the agents of that oppression."

—Naomi Weisstein, "Why We Aren't Laughing—
Any More." Ms Vol. II. No. 5 (Nov. 1973), p. 89.


WIG 1984, continued

"It is a humor based on visions of change. . . . Female humor may ridicule a person or a system from an accepting point of view ('that's life'), while the nonacceptance of oppression characterizes feminist humor and satire. . . . Feminist humor tends to be a humor of hope, female humor of hopelessness."

—Gloria Kaufman, "Introduction," Pulling Our Own Strings (Indiana U. Press, 1980), pp. 13-14.

As Kate Clinton points out, humor has been used against women for so long that many of us do not trust it, or we accept the (male-defined) view of it as trivial or trivializing. Yet feminists who use humor in their scholarly writing are able to employ it to good advantage. Humor can be used to call attention to serious problems, to make us see something familiar in a new light. Humor can be used to channel anger creatively and to transform pain into laughter—without dissipating the energy that can come with pain or anger. Humor can also be whimsical, offering a fantastical alternative to reality which we can explore at least in our imaginations, thus expanding old categories of thought and discourse. I illustrated all of these possible uses of feminist humor with examples from the writing of Luise Pusch, as well as a few examples from Christa Reinig. In my opinion, feminist humor creates "clear moments"—the "lichte Augenblicke" of my title—in the murky maze of scholarly discourse.

—Jeanette Clausen
Indiana U.-Purdue U., Fort Wayne


Mrs. Sam: It is terribly humiliating to me, Sam, to have you go to Europe in last cen­tury's hat. The Woman Citizen- The Woman ' s Journal.

[Taken from Laughing Their Way. Women's Humor in America (NY: Macmillan, 1934).]


WIG 1984, continued

(Unfortunately, a summary of Gertraud Gutzmann's presentation on humor in the works of Irmgard Keun was not received.)

Friday Afternoon, October 19


Marlene Heinemann, University of Wyoming and
Sandra Frieden, University of Houston

"An ABC of Women in Literature"

An ABC of Women in Literature is a ten-minute slide/tape show which I made for use in undergraduate/introductory literature classes. Using 25 key words (e.g. angel, muse, prostitute, spinster) and 19th century woodcuts I explained how fictional female characters are representative of societally determined categories. An understanding of these categories is needed in interpreting works of literature. The slide show is in English so that it can be used for literature in translation courses as well, and although the script men­tions some examples of female characters from German literature, it can easily be adapted to other Western literatures. The practical teaching strategy I wish to emphasize is that of encouraging VISUALIZATION as a means of helping students relate their reading to their own lives and thus increasing their receptivity. Although the slide/tape show is not yet available for commercial distribution, it might be someday, so I welcome your comments and suggestions for future slide/tape shows, as well as any tips you may have for possible funding of such ventures.
--Lucia Watson
c/o German Dept., [redacted]
University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI 53706

Schattenriss einer Violinistin aus :
University of Wisconsin Madison, WI 53706

Das Volk braucht Licht.
Frauen zur Zeit des Aufbruchs 1790-1848 In Ihren Briefen (Darmstadt 1970).


WIG 1984, continued

"Liedermacherinnen im Unterricht"

My presentation illustrated with songs how I used Liedermacherinnen in courses I taught last year: to give examples of dialects, to give a musical view of women's issues, to dislodge perhaps a few stereotypes about "Germans." In my second-year class I gave the students hand-outs with the dialect version of a song and a standard translation which was then used for discussion. I illustrated this in Boston by playing Cilli Miculik's "I wass net..." which has the same theme as "Where have all the flowers gone." I ended my advanced course on works by and about women in the twentieth cen­tury with a couple of sessions on Liedermacherinnen. After "Die Ehe der Maria Braun" and "Geschlechtertausch" stories, this proved to be the right decision. I used in particular songs by the group Schneewittchen. They are musically very interesting and original, and, more importantly, positive in content, e.g. "Nehmen Sie es wie eine Frau, Madam, das ist die Emanzipation" and "Schneewittchen, zerschlag deinen gläsernen Sarg."

—Victoria Joan Moessner
U. Alaska, Fairbanks

"What's in a Noun?"
Toward a Feminist Critique of Communicative Competence

What I tried to do in my presentation was give an assessment, from a feminist perspective, of different approaches to communicative competence. I devoted quite a bit of attention to Stephen Krashen's Natural Approach because he is the foremost language acquisition theorist in the US today, because his work is highly accessible and widely discussed, and because publishers like Houghton Mifflin are busy studying what he has to say. Apart from all that, what Krashen says about the importance of comprehensible input and a low affective filter makes eminently good sense to me. I also looked at the Strategic Interaction approach and the work of William Littlewood and David Wilkins.

All of these approaches earned mixed reviews. The major distinguishing characteristic of the communicative competence approach is that it acknowledges the importance of the social context within which we use language. On the face of it, that would seem to be music to feminist ears. In practice, however, being conscious of social context is not at all the same as having an enlight­ened social consciousness. For example, an instructor may explain that male and female speech styles in the target language differ. What follows? Perhaps an appreciation of the different perspectives and values that female speech represents. Or perhaps a lapse into female speech stereotyping. Discouragingly my own survey of sample exercises leads me to expect the latter.

In addition, I have found precisely the same shortcomings in teaching materials that Betty Schmitz and others have been criticizing for the last decade, including underrepresentation of women and minorities, dependency, cultural inaccuracy and an overwhelmingly androcentric perspective, along with other forms of bias such as racism and ageism. Beyond these problems, we need to


WIG 1984, continued

think about others: how we can teach collaborative as well as competitive models of conversation; how we can teach not only public or semi-public lan­guage but the language of intimacy, as well; and how we can make the expres­sion of emotion a legitimate part of classroom interaction, along with information transfer and problem solving.

If we want to accomplish any of this, it seems to me we are going to have to radically rethink our methods of reviewing teaching and teaching materials. Our existing methods for reviewing ALM-style textbooks are simply not going to be adequate anymore—because the communicative competence approach oper­ates with some radically different assumptions from ALM, because in part communicative competence instructors don't even use textbooks, or because the textbooks they do use are so open-ended that it is impossible to foresee how well or how poorly, how imaginately or how trivially, an instructor will use a given exercise. That means we have to go back to consciousness raising and training—at a time when the profession is far less interested than it was ten years ago.

—Barbara D. Wright
U. Connecticut, Storrs



(Illustration from a widely-used communicative competence textbook.)


W1G 1984, continued



(Illustrations from a widely-used communicative competence textbook.)

Saturday Morning, October 20

Moderator: Jeanette Clausen, Indiana U.-Purdue U., Fort Wayne

"Hexenjagd in Gelehrtenkopfen"

Der Beitrag diskutiert repräsentative Werke von Gelehrten und aus der Literatur, die die Hexe zum Thema haben. Dabei beziehe ich mich auf die Zeit von 1487 bis ungefähr 1567, das heisst auf die Zeitperiode vor dem Höhepunkt der Massenver­folgungen (1560 - 1700). Der Massenmord an Frauen zu Beginn der Neuzeit ist im geschichtlichen Begriff des Hexenwahns verharmlost und mythisiert worden.
Ein Teil der Entmythisierung des Hexenpogroms ist es, zu zeigen, dass die Ver­folgungen kein historischer Zufall waren, sondern Bestandteil einer sehr kon­kreten Gesellschaftsstruktur, in der "Wahnsinn" ebenso organisiert war wie heute. Literatur ist Teil von diesem Organisationsprozess. Die "Hexe" war durchaus gesellschaftsfähiges Thema der Gelehrten und Gebildeten das 16. Jhdts.


WIG 1984, continued

Der sogenannte "Wahn" wurde vor allem von ihnen in Gang gesetzt und am Leben gehalten. Ohne die Verbreitung des Hexenbildes gerade auch durch die Literatur des 16. Jhdts., die ja durch die Entwicklung der Druckkunst und der Flugschrift ganz neue Verbreitungsmoglichkeiten hatte, sind die Massen­verfolgungen von Frauen zu Beginn des Absolutismus in Deutschland nicht denkbar.

Unsere Literaturgeschichten aber haben die Hexenliteratur noch immer als absurdes Exoticum ausgeschlossen und tabuisiert. Es ist an der Zeit, dass wir sie zum Teil des Curriculums machen.

—Sigrid Brauner
U. California, Berkeley

Ein unerhörte ubernatürliche gestalt einer
großgeschwollenen Junckfrawen zu Eßlingen/
als hie förgemalet/und hernach gemelet würt.
[image: G.1118 The Deceitful Woman of Esslingen [338 x 253] 1549 Gotha (eine Flugschrift--neues Massenmedium des 16. Jhdts.)]


W1G 1984, continued

"On the Trail of the 'Witches': Social Roles of the Accused in the European Witch Trials."

In order to ascertain the social roles of those accused in the European witch trials of the 15th - 17th centuries, it is necessary to differentiate between the official view of witchcraft as a devil-worshipping heresy, a view promulgated by the religious and secular authorities, and the beliefs and practices of the people themselves. The former view, as it coalesced on the Continent in the 15th century, defined witchcraft as consisting of four dis­tinct elements: 1. the notion of maleficium, of doing harm through super­natural means; 2. the image of the witch as an uncanny being who could fly through the air at night, who devoured babies, and was associated with wild and lonely places; 3. the notion of a pact binding the witch to the Devil as his servant; 4. the belief in a cult or sect which held periodic meetings or sabbats where the Christian religion was systematically parodied and the Devil was worshipped and had sexual intercourse with his servants. These beliefs are found in the demonologists' treatises and are reflected in forced confessions of suspects after torture.

A layer of folk beliefs less shaped by the official theory can be discerned in trial documents which record the accusations made by the villagers and peasants themselves. In analyzing the roles of the accused in these deposi­tions it is helpful to distinguish among four categories: sorceresses, wise women, midwives, and witches. Anthropologists commonly distinguish between sorcery, or harmful magic accomplished by technique or substance, and witch­craft, harm believed to be caused supernaturally by virtue of some mysterious power inherent in the witch herself. The wise woman, or white witch, is a practitioner of beneficent magic such as healing persons and animals, divining thieves, finding lost objects, foretelling the future, and providing love magic. The midwife is sometimes but not always also a wise woman, and often works with spells and charms.

The European materials show that while few of those accused in the witch trials were actual sorceresses, a good number (1/3 to 1/2) were wise women or the equivalent, and probably a much smaller number were midwives. In many cases the accused were probably believed by their communities to be witches in the sense of someone endowed with supernatural power to do harm, and some may have believed this of themselves. But the reality of either a Satanic cult or any organized vestigial pagan fertility cult is unlikely.

—Joey Horsley
U. Mass., Boston

Would scholars diagram witchcraft this same way if most of the witches were men?
(diagram from: Jeffrey B. Russell, Witchcraft in the Middle Ages, Cornell Univ. Press, 1972)


WIG 1984, continued

"Witches and Subversives in Contemporary Literature"

Unfortunately, a summary of Dorothy Rosenberg's presentation was not received. Dorothy began by talking about having wanted to be a witch as a child, planting her first herb garden at age 12, and being vaguely aware that her fascination with witches had something to do with power.
She then moved into a discussion of why witch figures are so frequent in contem­porary literature of the GDR, focusing especially on Amanda and quoting from an interview with Irmtraud Morgner that appeared in a recent issue of Weimarer Beiträge. Thus, after Sigrid's and Joey's presentations had explored some of the historical aspects of witches and their persecution, Dorothy brought us back to the present, and to literary criticism.
It was just what we needed. The discus­sion that followed these three presenta­tions went on for an hour, and we finally stopped—reluctantly—only because we didn't want to miss lunch.

For a better summary of Dorothy's presen­tation, write to her at Colby College.


Sunday Morning, October 21

Concluding Session: WIG Members Speak Out
Sandy Frieden, University of Houston, and
Margaret Ward, Wellesley College

The Sunday morning wrap-up session is always an occasion to have open discus­sion of the conference itself and to reflect on the future of WIG, as well as to make additional suggestions for next year's conference. All of these aspects were touched upon by a variety of speakers from the floor.

Some comments from two earlier sessions have stuck with me and seem closely related to the wrap-up discussion. Dorothy Rosenberg's comment, "Magie als Losung hat ihren Preis;" thus, cooperation is the obvious solution. Similarly, Barbara Wright talked about the need to develop a language competence model based on cooperation, not competition. Cooperation was certainly the model we tried to use to organize the conference. So many WIGgies were involved in the


WIG 1984, continued

organization and the planning. It isn't a model which works like a well-oiled machine, but humanly it is very rewarding. We aren't always successful at it, however, a fact to which every session organizer can probably testify. And the sheer number of people at this year's conference (over 100) indicates that we need to work even harder at achieving that ideal of cooperation and communi­cation which we have for WIG. Dorothy Rosenberg expressed concern that per­haps the attempt to integrate newcomers after the Thursday evening session had not really worked as planned. Nevertheless, some people expressed their satisfaction with the welcome they had experienced. In general there was approval for the increased amount of free time which enabled people to really talk with each other.

Several newcomers spoke about their reactions to the conference. At least one was disappointed that her special area of expertise—translation—and her offer of help had been ignored when we discussed translation projects at the Business Meeting. Another expressed her sense that WIG was reaching out to high school teachers, but not really offering the kind of program which could help these women. If we recognize that at least on one level WIG is a service organiza­tion, then we need to think about groups with special needs, e.g. graduate students, high school teachers, those who now need support groups to discuss the political problems one runs into when one becomes an administrator. A number of women expressed their disappointment that no aspect of this year's program had had specifically to do with Lesbianism. It was pointed out that we had fewer general sessions because of having two guests this year; still, it seems important that this be given attention next year.

A great deal of discussion took place about the future of WIG. Keeping in mind that next year we celebrate our tenth anniversary, there seemed to be a feeling that we as an organization were at a crossroads. There was a need to ask both woher and wohin, without getting bogged down in self-reflection of nostalgia for the past. I felt in both this discussion and the one which took place Saturday morning a sense of impatience—a sense that we should get on with it, but an uncertainty about where we are going. Perhaps there is some need to slow down, evaluate, then accelerate again after we crystallize our goals. As the organization continues to grow we need to develop ways to maintain the intimacy and the respect for each other which make this such a special group. There was some sense that perhaps next year's conference should be a time for this kind of productive self-reflection, that perhaps no guest should be invited. But it was pointed out that a binding vote had already been taken on the subject of next year's guest at the Business Meeting the day before. Ruth-Ellen Joeres also reaffirmed that the person we had designated as guest would be just the kind of individual to help us with these deliberations.

Irmtraud Morgner spoke for herself and Helga Schütz of their gratitude for the opportunity to come to the WIG conference this year.

The final time available to us for wrap-up was devoted instead to a Quaker-style meeting in memory of Fritz Achberger, at which time a number of people were able to speak on tape to Karen to express their sympathy and love for her. For all those who participated in this testimony and experienced the outpouring of affection for Karen, without whom Irmtraud and Helga would never have come to


WIG 1984, continued

WIG, it seemed a fitting conclusion and brought us all closer to each other.

—Margaret E. Ward
Wellesley College

(In a note accompanying the above text, Margaret emphasized that this was a very personal summary, representing her own subjective impressions of the concluding session. The following open letter, though it doesn't focus only on the Sunday morning session, offers another woman's view of some of the same things.)

Dear fellow Wiggies!

I returned from my 2nd WIG conference with many impressions and some mixed feelings of hope and pain. Again the WIG conference proved for me to be an intellectually energizing, yet also emotionally draining experience. In spite of a mostly relaxed and supportive atmosphere, not to mention WIG's unique, thoroughly positive, non-hierarchical stance among the professional academic organizations, I have (had) difficulties in making personal contacts in such a large gathering. This is due to a degree of shyness, but also to the self- imposed classification of myself as a "graduate student" and all the accompany­ing inhibitions and lack of confidence that can bring. All of your protests are ringing in my ears!! I realize there are many "graduate students" and "non-graduate students" (ahem! professors of Germanistik, are you listening?) and many "non-students" of WIG who don't deal in these classifications. I am aware of the problem and working on it.

However, this difficulty in large groups is not only a personal problem: there are others who, for whatever reasons, do not always find it easy at WIG con­ferences. When planning future WIG gatherings, I believe we should also be considered. I very much agree with the suggestion made at the Sunday meeting that we begin next year's conference with Thursday-night small-group sessions, discussing a topic which encourages good group and personal interaction. These groups should be given formal time to meet again sometime during the weekend.
It would certainly be easier for me to have a few people with whom I had shared some personal feelings and thoughts. Another suggestion, already being imple­mented by the New York group, is for Regional Get-Togethers of Wiggies: this would allow for informal "small" gatherings over pot-luck meals and discus­sions of current projects. (The less structured, the better!) This is not meant to undermine the unity and power of us as a group, but provides for additional opportunities for personal and supportive contact. If any of you have further ideas on how to make integration easier for us "non-gregarious" types, it would be appreciated.

Although we in WIG strive to be mutually supportive of each other, regardless of our classifications, I think it is important that we do acknowledge our different positions in the academic and non-academic "real" world of German­istik. I as a "graduate student" do have different needs and perspectives and demands made on me than those of you who are professors, administrators, trans­lators, writers, high school teachers, ... Let's acknowledge the "otherness" that's inherent to our Big-Middle-Little-Sister Network and work with it to empower us to change ourselves and the "real" world.


WIG 1984, continued

It seems essential to WIG in its 10th year that we assess our purpose and our directions as a group and as individual members. Are we a feminist organiza­tion? What does feminism mean to me? These are questions I ask myself, and we should ask them of each other. I look forward to answering them together and to continuing to pose new and challenging ones. WIG is special and necessary for many of us (but we already know that!!). That I would feel comfortable in writing this letter is indicative of what we are and what we can become.

—Karin Obermeier
U. Massachusetts, Amherst

Saturday Afternoon, October 20, 1984

WIG Business and Planning Meeting

Barbara Wright called the meeting to order, announcing that because there was so much business, there would be strict time limits for discussion of each topic.

I. The meeting began with reports as follows:

A. Tax-exempt status (Jeanette Clausen). WIG is incorporated in the state of Indiana and at the federal level. The corporation is automatically tax-exempt until such time as our income exceeds $5,000.00 a year (the "gross receipts test"). When that happens, we will apply for official tax-exempt status which, when granted, will be retroactive to the date of filing. If you don't understand this, never mind—all it really means is, there's no problem with our tax-exempt status.

B. Membership (Jeanette Clausen for Karen Achberger). WIG's new dues structure went into effect on January 1, 1984. Between January 1 and October 15, 1984, payments were received from 101 new or reinstated members (mostly the former) and 133 renewing members. The breakdown by dues cate­gory:
                                               New Renewing
A student,             $ 3.00/1 yr   24    9
   unemployed       $ 5.00/2 yr   22    18 
                                               46    27

B $10,000 to         $ 7.00/1 yr   18     11
$15,000 annually   $12.00/2 yr  7       11 
                                               25     22

C $15,001 to         $10.00/1 yr  1        5     
$20,000 annually   $15.00/2 yr  7        15
                                               8        20

D $20,001 to          $13.00/1 yr 2         7
$ $25,000 annually $20.00/2 yr 7         19
                                               9         26


WIG 1984, continued

D $25,000              $16.00/1 yr 6         8
and up                   $25.00/2 yr 3         19
                                               9         27

F supporting indi-    $20.00/1 yr 0         2
viduals; libraries      $35.00/2 yr 2         7
                                                2         9

G supporting depart- $25.00/yr   2         2
ments                                       2          2

Note that during this nine-month peiod there were more new than renewing members in category A (student/unemployed), and that over half of the new members were in the lowest income categories. Among renewing members there is more of a balance, with a majority choosing to pay the two-year rates. At the time of this report, our mailing list numbered 440, for the current membership, see the membership list included in this issue (pp. 42-48).

The following departments have become departmental sponsors of WIG:

Dept. of German, The Ohio State University
Dept. of German, University of Minnesota
Dept. of German, Washington University, St. Louis
Dept. of Germanic and Slavic, Texas Tech University, Lubbock
Dept. of Modern Foreign Languages, Indiana U.-Purdue U., Fort Wayne

C. WIG Yearbook (Marianne Burkhard). Marianne reported that Vol. I (1982) of the yearbook would be sent to the University Press of America, which has agreed to publish it, by the end of the year; it will be out in early 1985. (For the table of contents of this volume and pre-publication ordering information, see pp. 2-3.) She also reported that Vol. II (1983) of the yearbook was almost finished, except for a few papers that had been sent out for re-review. By general acclaim, it was agreed that Marianne Burkhard and Edith Waldstein should continue as coeditors of the yearbook for Vol. III (1984). Deadline for submissions to Vol. III is February 1, 1985. Papers must be feminist in orientation; other than that there are no restrictions. The coeditors have a policy of blind submissions, so please, no name on the paper itself—name, affiliation (if any) and address on a separate cover sheet. Copies to both Marianne and Edie. It was agreed that Marianne and Edith would send out a one-page announcement soliciting contributions to Vol. Ill since the newsletter announcement probably won't reach everyone before the February 1 deadline.

D. Textbook Reviews (Barbara Wright). Barbara announced that Round Two of the WIG textbook reviews was ready for those attending the conference to pick up. She also reminded us that WIG's first collection of textbook reviews (May 1983, edited by Linda Pickle) is appearing in the fall 1984 issue of Women's Studies Quarterly, along with articles by several WIG members and the guidelines for evaluating textbooks that were used for this year's set of reviews. She then brought up the fact that textbook reviewing needs to be done continually: right now we really need reviews of more high school German textbooks; likewise, WIG has not reviewed many textbooks


WIG 1984, continued

for the intermediate level yet, and textbooks produced in Germany also need attention. The steering committee member now in charge of textbook reviews is Sydna (Bunny) Weiss (Hamilton College).

N.B.:  the above-mentioned textbook reviews ("round two") were mailed in December. If you haven't received them by the time you read this, keep an eye out for them for a few more weeks (bulk mail can be so unpredictable); if you feel that you've been overlooked in this mailing, write to Jeanette Clausen, Dept. of Modern Foreign Languages, Indiana U.- Purdue U., Fort Wayne, IN 46805 to request copies.

E. Statistics Project (Marianne Burkhard). This project, when finished, will report on the number of women employed in German departments since 1963, including the number of women promoted. According to Marianne, the project is in imminent danger of being completed. Jeannine Blackwell will present some of the information from this study at the December 1984 MLA, in the session: Graduate Education in the 1990's. Saturday, 29 December, 1:45 pm, Independence Room, Hilton. This session is not listed in the MLA conference program, so please pass the word along—it's important for Wiggies to have some say in this discussion.

F. Syllabi Project 1983 (Bunny Weiss and Sidonie Cassirer). There are still 100-plus copies left of the collection of course syllabi entitled German and Women's Studies, which was completed last year and mailed to members in November 1983 or so (and has been sent to all new members as a part of their membership). If for some reason you never received this 100-page booklet of 50 course syllabi, or if you want extra copies, send $2.00 (for postage and handling) to Jeanette Clausen, Dept. of Modern Foreign Languages, Indiana U.-Purdue U., Fort Wayne, IN 46805.

G. Translation. 1. Bunny Weiss had agreed last year to serve as a "clearing-house" contact person to collect translations that WIG members had already done (to use in their teaching, usually). She received only three translations, and will pass them on to someone with an active project already underway. Dorothy Rosenberg later volunteered to take over the role of collecting translations already done. 2. Christiane Zehl Romero (Tufts U.) and Helene Scher (Smith Coll.) have a publisher for a collection of translations by women authors from the FRG, the GDR, Switzerland and Austria. (N.B.: it is my impression that they were finalizing their table of contents during the conference—for information, write to one of them). 3. Dorothy Rosenberg (Colby Coll.) and Nancy Lukens (Coll, of Wooster) are still actively seeking funding for the two- volume collection (GDR and FRG) of women's prose and poetry that they announced last year.

There was general agreement that translation projects should be coordinated so that we don't duplicate efforts. The following recommendations and volunteer commitments were made:

—Bunny Weiss and Sidonie Cassirer will analyze last year's syllabi collec­tion to see what needs for translated texts are indicated there.


WIG 1984, continued

—Gertraud Gutzmann pointed out that we should interest publishers in reissuing out-of-print translations, and volunteered to coordinate this work. In this connection, the volume on women writers in translation— out-of-print texts was mentioned as an important reference, and Elke Frederiksen reminded the group that an update is in progress; the volume is: Women Authors in Translation, ed. Isabelle de Courtivron and Margery Resnick (Garland Press).

—Pat Herminghouse reminded us that a new Suhrkamp volume containing annotated texts by 11 German women writers will be out in spring. It is suitable for use at the intermediate level or above. The title is Frauen im Mittelpunkt/Focus on Women.

II. Following the reports, the following items of business were discussed:

A. The 1985 WIG conference.

1. Conference site. Barbara Wright and others reviewed the history of our conference sites (1976-78 in Oxford, Ohio; 1979-81 in Racine, Wisconsin; and 1982-84 in Boston); a part of the plan has been to build up membership in the area of the country where the conference is held. Last year, several West Coast Wiggies were asked to look for possible sites. Dinah Dodds was present to report on the site in Portland, Oregon that she had investigated, and the group voted to approve it for next year's conference. Dinah provided the follow­ing information about it:

Location: Our Lady of the Angels, Sisters of St. Francis, 1858 SW Palatine Hill Rd., Portland, OR 97219. The convent sits atop a hill overlooking the Willamette River Valley, 10 minutes from down­town Portland, 30 minutes from the airport, across the street from Lewis and Clark College (where Dinah teaches).

Facilities: Housing is in double or single rooms. There is room for 55 people, with additional sleeping space for up to 62 on roll­away beds. If there are more than 62 registrants for the conference, the overflow will be accommodated somehow by the Portland women. The conference facilities include larger rooms that can hold 60-70 as well as smaller, more intimate rooms; there is also a largish room with a raised platform and a piano, and a gymnasium complete with facilities for volleyball, basketball, or ping pong and a stage.

Cost: at present, $20.00 per night, which includes three meals a day with choice of vegetarian or non-vegetarian food; snacks are also included.

Transportation: for local transportation, vans from Lewis and Clark College will be available to transport people to and from the airport.

Travel to Portland: present airfares are as follows (all prices round trip): Boston-Portland $450; New York-Portland $450; Denver-Portland $220; Chicago-Portland $390 (via Denver). Compare these fares with


WIG 1984, continued

present fares to San Francisco: Boston-SF $390; New York-SF $390; Denver-SF $200; Chicago-SF $330 (via Denver).

The convent has been reserved for WIG for October 24-27, 1985. The coordinator for conference registration and physical arrangements will be (you guessed it) DINAH DODDS, Lewis and Clark College, Portland, OR 97219. [redacted] The program coordinator will be Charlotte Smith, [redacted]

2. Conference Program — general considerations. There was much talk about how to structure the conference so as to bring about the things we want to have happen (profound discussions on important topics, real exchanges of ideas, and so on—such as took place following the "Witches and Wise Women" panel this year). As Sara Lennox said, we need to give more thought to how we can consciously plan for these things to happen, rather than letting it be more or less accidental.
We should consider how we can provide for rigorous analysis and at the same time be experimental and open. Among the many points raised during the discussion were:

—we need to be sure to allow enough time (someone mentioned that this was the first year she had heard no complaints about too little time);

—the panels should be kept relatively small, and presenters shouldn't read 25-minute-papers. (N.B.: this is a caveat that has been raised every year for as long as I can remember—it seems clear that most of us want shorter presentations, so as to allow more time for discussion, but maybe people don't quite know how to make their presentations short and still say something worthwhile? That's my opinion, what's yours? —JC).

—we should remember that at WIG we don't have to prepare "Gesamtkunst- werk"-papers to present; at WIG we have the chance to learn to speak in our own voices and, by presenting Ansätze zur Diskussion, to give the group a voice; also, we shouldn't fear making mistakes when we speak German;

—we should respect WIG and the session organizers, and not leave WIGwork to the last (even though we know that Wiggies will forgive us, or let us have an extension on our deadline, etc. and MLA or AATG probably won't!); if we agree to be on a WIG panel or to organize a session, we should take that responsibility as seriously as we do other professional commitments;

—panel organizers should try for a mix of panelists, encouraging students and non-academics to particpate as well as those in university positions;

—because there's been a lot of antifeminist backlash in the last few years, and much retrenchment within feminism, we must be even more


WIG 1984, continued

insistent and outspoken in our support  of "uncomfortable" topics; we should have a panel that includes lesbianism every year;

—we should not neglect important historical and political perspec­tives;

—not everyone is particularly interested in post-45 literature; we could invite other artists, or scholars, instead of authors;

—we should have one session devoted to our history (this point was made by Helen Fehervary, who mentioned the film made by Gisela Bahr (Miami U.) of the 1978 conference, which shows a real hammering-out of ideas during discussion);

—we should follow our policy of choosing one experienced and one inexperienced coordinator for each session.

3. We then proceeded to discuss a possible guest for WIG 1985. (The list of choices had been narrowed down to 5 by means of a straw vote the day before). There were quite a few in favor of inviting a film­maker, either Heike Sander or Ulrike Ottinger (though I don't think there was a consensus as to whom we would prefer). Interestingly, the straw vote had shown our top choice to be Christa Wolf, but we quickly decided against trying to invite her, in part because she is so much in demand that her presence, if she should decide to accept an invitation from us, might turn our conference into a kind of "media event," which would certainly be contrary to most of our aims. As the discussion progressed, a consensus seemed to emerge in favor of inviting someone "more like us," and we voted by a sizable majority in favor of Luise Pusch. She is a feminist linguist, author of Das Deutsche als Männerspräche (Suhrkamp 1984), editor of Feminismus: Inspektion der Herrenkultur (Suhrkamp 1983), and author/editor of several books in progress including a feminist dictionary, a book on sisters of famous men (to be followed by a book on daughters, then one on mothers), and autobiographical prose. We were also not disappointed to learn that Pusch is a lesbian.

4. WIG 1985 conference program topics. Having decided on the 1985 guest, we turned to a discussion of the program topics. Barbara, veritable paragon of a chairperson that she is, had prepared three alternative "skeleton programs" (based on the straw vote) to facili­tate discussion. Among the suggestions made were: to celebrate 10 years of WIG in some way (1985 will be the 10th annual conference); to show Gisela Bahr's film of the 1978 conference if possible; to include one session on lesbian-feminism in trends in recent feminist theory; to form a support group for administrators.

The program as approved by the group follows; of course, the session organizers will modify the titles and provide more detailed descrip­tions in their calls for contributions, to be mailed in January.


WIG 1984, continued

WIG 1985 October 24-27, Portland, OR

Thursday, October 24

Thurs. eve. WOHER/WOHIN? (opening session: zehn Jahre WIG, CR, etc.). Coord. Sigrid Brauner (Berkeley) and Sara Lennox (U. Mass., Amherst).

Friday, October 25

Fri. morn. DEUTSCHE FILMEMACHERINNEN UND DER NEUE DEUTSCHE FILM. Coord. Vibeke Keith (New York) and Sandy Frieden (U. Houston).

Fri. aft. RECENT TRENDS IN FEMINIST THEORY AND CRITICISM (to be fol­lowed by group discussion of how to make our instruction more interdisciplinary). Coord. Patsy Baudoin (Boston) and Dorothy Rosenberg (Colby Coll.).

Fri. eve. FILMVORSTELLUNG UND DISKUSSION. Coord. Jeannine Blackwell (Michigan State U.).

Saturday, October 26

Sat. morn. DEUTSCHE SPRACHE, FEMINISTISCHE LINGUISTIK. Coord. Charlotte Ärmster (Gettysburg Coll.), Jeanette Clausen (IPFW), Joan Moessner (U. Alaska, Fairbanks).



Sunday, October 27

Sun. morn. CONCLUDING SESSION. Coord. Helen Fehervary (OSU), Melissa Vogelsang (Yale), Lucia Watson (U. Wisconsin, Madison).

B. MLA and AATG 1985—again, the session coordinators will provide more details later.

1. AATG 1985—over Thanksgiving weekend, in New York

Pedagogical session: Women's Biography and Autobiography
   Coord.: Gertraud Gutzmann (Smith Coll.), Brigitte May (Alexandria, VA)

Literary session: Expressionist Women
   Coord.:  Sidonie Cassirer (Mt. Holyoke), Elisabeth Heinicke (Brookline, MA)


WIG 1984, continued

2. MLA 1985, in Chicago

1. Bettine von Arnim in Historical Context
   Coord.: Elke Frederiksen (U. Maryland), Ruth-Ellen Boetcher Joeres (U. Minnesota)

2. Racism in Post-45 Women's Literature
   Coord.:  Linda Lindsay (Allegheny Coll.), Dagmar Lorenz (OSU)

During this business meeting we also elected two new steering committee mem­bers: Bunny Weiss (Hamilton Coll.) and Dinah Dodds (Lewis and Clark Coll.).

Next there was a big round of thanks to those who had done all the hard work of this organization for the past year: to Martha Wallach for fundraising efforts, for making all the travel arrangements for Irmtraud Morgner and Helga Schutz, and—not least—for quite a lot of last-minute transatlantic phone-calling in September and October, to relay bits of information and keep things moving (for those who didn't know, Martha is spending the year at the University of Kassel); to Karen Achberger for writing to Irmtraud Morgner to invite her to be WIG's guest, for keeping up a correspondence with her and Helga Schütz and not giving up when our luck seemed to run out, and for working with Martha to arrange the authors' speaking engagements at five universities in the US; to Margaret Ward, Judith Jamieson and Edie Waldstein for organizing this year's conference—Margaret even took time out from her research trip to Berlin in April to visit Irmtraud and Helga on WIG's behalf and work out some details; we're also especially grateful to Margaret, Edie and others in the Boston area for their ingenuity in handling the overflow crowd for this year's conference. Finally, everyone applauded Barbara Wright for a great job of organizing and chairing the business meeting, and thanked YT (=yours truly) for another year's worth of, uh, I think the word was "inimitable" newsletters.

After all this there was an animated discussion of the problems surrounding the appearance of an antisemitic ad in the German Quarterly. After discus­sion of the AATG's position, it was strongly recommended that WIG take an official stance deploring the policy that permits accepting such ads. Some­one volunteered to write a group letter on WIG's behalf; individuals were urged to write as well.

The meeting adjourned in time for supper.

—Summary and unsolicited editorial commentary by Jeanette Clausen


It is not too early to be thinking about next year's WIG! Here are the calls for contributions available so far. Calls for contributions to the entire program will be published in late January or early February 1985.


CALLS FOR PAPERSWIG 1985, continued

Thursday evening, October 24
Opening session

Women in German: Woher, wohin?

For our initial session we would like to solicit from those who were WIG members in the beginning years a short description of their experiences, expectations and needs at the time WIG was founded, why they chose to become members, what questions were important for them then in the profession and in their personal lives, and what hopes they had for WIG. Your description can take any form you wish. The co-chairs will put the responses together and decide on the form most appropriate for their presentation. Please send a copy each to:

Sigrid Brauner [redacted]
Sara Lennox [redacted]

Friday evening, October 25

Filmvorstellung und Diskussion

Gebraucht werden: (a) Vorschläge, welcher Film gezeigt werden soll (bis jetzt wurde Heike Sanders neuer Film "Liebe ist aller Schmerzen Anfang" erwähnt); und (b) zwei Diskussionsleiterinnen zum Thema Frauen Sprache Film. Plan: jede hat 10 Minuten für Fragestellung, Meinungen, Ansätze, (auch) zum Gebrauch von Filmen im Unterricht. Ich hätte gerne zwei Teilnehmerinnen, die schon Filme von Frauen unterrichtet haben, bzw. sich in den Werken von Sander und anderen Filmemacherinnen auskennen. Die Sektion wird auf deutsch sein.
Resumée von etwa 250 Worten (oder Abriss) zum Thema, zum Film, oder zur Filme­macherin, an:
Jeannine Blackwell [redacted]

Saturday morning, October 26

Auf der Suche nach einer frauenfreundlichen Sprache

It's not news to feminists that the German language is often more likely to be frauenfeindlich than -freundlich. The purpose of this session is to examine: (a) what effects the work of feminist linguists has had/could have on both theoretical and applied linguistics; (b) how we can apply insights from feminist linguistics to our work as literary critics; (c) in what ways the German language has changed/is changing in response to consciousness­raising efforts by feminists; (d) how we can integrate any or all of the above into our teaching, to make both the language and the subject matter we teach more frauenfreundlich.


CALLS FOR PAPERSWIG 1985, continued

We invite contributions on aspects of feminism and language, linguistics, language pedagogy, or linguistic approaches to literature. We envision a program with SHORT (10 minute) presentations followed by a workshop period during which all conference participants will work in small groups on developing and/or rehearsing strategies for integrating the ideas presented into our work as teachers and scholars.

Send a two-page abstract to both of the organizers. Deadline for receipt of abstracts is May 1, 1985. If you have the germ of an idea but aren't sure if it would fit into the session as planned, give one of us a call and we'll think it through out loud with you.

Charlotte Armster
German Dept.
Gettysburg College
Gettysburg, PA 17325

Jeanette Clausen
Dept. of Modern Foreign Langs.
Indiana U.-Purdue U.
Fort Wayne, IN 46805

* * * * *

LATE Saturday evening ....

We hope to continue our WIG-cabaret again in 1985. The theme will be WIG: woher, wohin? WIG 1975—ein Rückblick, WIG 1995—das Zukunftsbild. Think up possible scenarios and gather up friends and costumes to do them!

* * * * *


Information und Material gesucht für einen Workshop über

"How to teach Women's Studies in German"

Der Workshop findet im Spring Semester an der University of California, Berkeley statt. Ich bin für Material über feministische Perspektiven für Sprach-, Literatur- und Kulturunterricht dankbar, sowie für jegliche Information über Women's Studies Programs die auch Kurse über German litera- ture/language enthalten. Als Gegenleistung schicke ich gerne Program und Entwurf für den Workshop.

Sigrid Brauner für den Women Caucus in German Dept. of German Dwindle Hall
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720

* * * * *




The Lessing society section of the Midwest Modern Language Association Con­vention, November 1985, invites submissions for its section on the topic Revolution in Feeling. Submissions should treat the German discourse of emotion and revolution in the late 18th century: radical change in the lan­guage and literature of emotion, political discourse in Sentimentality and Storm and Stress, or the intertwined imagery of emotion and politics.

Send 500-word abstracts or completed 10-page papers to Jeannine Blackwell, Wells Hall A-721, German, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824 by April 15, 1985.

* * * * *





June 21-28, 1985
World Fellowship Center
Conway, N.H.

The central theme of the 1985 Symposium will be “The GDR Today - 40 Years After the End of WW II.” As in past years, the Symposium will be interdisciplinary: economists, historians, political scientists, sociologists, etc., as well as Germanists and specialists working in the areas of art, music, the media, etc. are invited to participate. Several of the seminars planned for 1985 will involve the treatment of topics from the perspectives of various disciplines. Papers are being solicited for the following topics:

Panel discussion of historians and political scientists after initial short papers.

II. THE AMBIVALENCE OF PROGRESS - Volker Gransow, Institut fur Soziologie, FU Berlin, Babelsbergerstr. 14-16, D 1000 Berlin 31; Arthur A. Stahnke, Dept. of Government, So. Illinois University, Edwardsville, IL 62026; Margy Gerber, Dept. of German and Russian, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403

Interdisciplinary seminar with papers on economic, social, political, and environmental issues, and on the treatment of this question in literature and other art/cultural forms.

III. THE INDIVIDUAL AND SOCIETY IN THE GDR TODAY/THE PUBLIC AND THE PRIVATE SPHERE - Patricia Herminghouse, Dept. of Foreign Languages, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627; Christiane Lemke, Zen­tralinstitut fur sozialwissenschaftliche Forschung, FU Berlin, Babelsbergerstr. 14-16, D 1000 Berlin 31; Marilyn Rueschemeyer, Dept. of Sociology, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, R.I. 02903

Interdisciplinary seminar with papers on social and political issues and on the reflection of this question in literature and culture in general.

IV. CHANGING PATTERNS OF MALE AND FEMALE IDENTITY - Christiane Lemke (See III); Christiane Zehl Ro­mero, Dept of German and Russian, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155

Interdisciplinary seminar with papers on social and political issues, and on the reflection of the issue in literature and culture in general.

V. GDR LITERATURE IN ITS HISTORICAL AND CONTEMPORARY CONTEXTS - Gerd Labroisse, Duitse taal - en letterkunde, Vrije Universiteit, Kamer 10A-28, Amsterdam, de Boelelaan 1105; Wolfgang Ertl, Dept. of German, Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242

Seminar with papers on the influence of past forms of literary expression on GDR literature, and on GDR literature within the context of contemporary literature in general.

VI. RECENT TRENDS IN GDR LITERATURE AND CULTURE AND CULTURAL AND AESTHETIC THEORY - Christiane Zehl Romero (See IV); Nancy A. Lauckner, Dept. of Germanic and Slavic Languages, University of Tennes­see, Knoxville, TN 37916

Interdisciplinary seminar with papers by Germanists and other literary scholars, cultural historians and theoreticians.'

VII. VOLKER BRAUN - Christine Cosentino, Dept. of German, Rutgers University, Camden, N.J. 08102; Wolfgang Ertl (See V).

Seminar on the writings of Braun, stagings of his plays, and critical reception in East and West.

VIII. THE PLACE OF THE GDR IN THE WORLD TODAY/INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS AND FOREIGN RELATIONS/ THIRD WORLD - Gero Neugebauer, Zentralinstitut fur sozialwissenschaftliche Forschung, FU Berlin, Babelsbergerstr. 14-16 D 1000 Berlin 31.

Panel discussion of political scientists and economists after initial short papers.

Detailed proposals (title plus 2-3 pages) must be submitted to the appropriate seminar organizer(s) - in case of co-organizers, one copy to each - by January 15, 1985; completed papers must be submitted no later than April 1. Papers should not exceed 30 minutes. The preferred language is English. Selected papers from the Symposium will be published in the series STUDIES IN GDR CULTURE AND SOCIETY. For more information on the Symposium location and overall organization, contact H'. Christoph Schmauch, World Fellowship Center, Conway, NH 03818, [redacted]. For additional informa­tion about the program, contact Margy Gerber (See 11).

Registration fee, Room and Board for the whole week, all-inclusive: $190.

(This fee includes a $10 charge for a GDR Participant's travel fund.) 

(In order to encourage attendance for the duration of the Symposium, part-time participants will be charged a $25 registra­tion fee, and $35 daily rate, which includes 3 meals and an overnight.)

Children under 12: $90 for the week.
Students to age 21: $110 for the week.



Society for Cinema Studies Conference
June 12-15, 1985
New York University

The 1985 Society for Cinema Studies Conference will include a panel entitled "Women in Film in the Bundesrepublik Deutschland," which will examine the work of women filmmakers, feminist film criticism, and the impact of film schools, funding and distribution systems on women in the BRD. Comparisons to the situation for women filmmakers and for feminist film criticism in the USA will be encouraged. Particular interest in papers about FRAUEN UND FILM, and filmmakers who are not widely known in the US. In order to participate in the SCS conference it is necessary to become a member ($30 per year).

For further information contact: Ellen Seiter, Telecommunication and Film Studies, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403.

* * * * * 

A Symposium on MATHILDE FRANZISKA ANNEKE was held on Saturday, November 17, 1984 in Madison, Wisconsin. Speakers included Theodore Hamerow (UW-Madison), "Who Were the Fortyeighters?" Maria Wagner (Rutgers), "Mathilde F. Anneke, 'I Lived for Freedom,'" and a panel discussion to provide an appraisal of Anneke's life and work. The symposium was co-sponsored by the Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies, the Wisconsin State Historical Society and the Women's Studies Center of UW-Milwaukee.

* * * * * 


German Feminism. Readings in Politics and Literature, ed. Edith Hoshino Altbach, Jeanette Clausen, Dagmar Schultz, Naomi Stephan (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1984). $12.95 paper. 389 pp.

The book contains literary texts by Irmtraud Morgner, Sarah Kirsch, Elfriede Bruning, Helga Novak, Christa Wolf, Maxie Wander, Margot Schroeder, Angelika Mechtel, Christine Wolter, Judith Offenbach, Jutta Heinrich, and Christa Reinig. Topics covered in the non-literary sections include "Body Politics," "Sisterhood," "Motherhood and Housework," "Feminist Strategy" and "Women's Studies." Be sure to order this for your university libraries, for the Women's Studies office on your campus, and of course for yourselves. Useful for courses on contemporary Germany East and West, or for literature in translation courses.

* * * * *

Frauenfahrplan 1: Ausgangspunkte, Treffpunkte, Wendepunkte. Ed. Dagmar Stern and Lola Gruenthal. (New York): Starlight Press, 1984. pp. 113.

Ten founding members of the "WiG-Gruppe New York" put together this sometimes whimsical, sometimes touching collection of German poetry and prose pieces. Some authors refer to the inspiration and support they have gained from their


BOOKS, continued

WiG group, and the reader often has the feeling that these texts were written in the heat of the moment after an especially warm, sharing, and caring meeting of the group. There are stories about man-woman relationships, references to "Germanistinnen" experiences, and reflections on self­realization. Mothers, who always seem to come up eventually when women start talking about themselves, figure prominently in several works. Some of the authors grew up during the Hitler era and their personal testimony here con­tributes to our knowledge of what that period meant for women.

I was particularly interested in the ways these women express their feelings of being outside ordinary American society. As German-American immigrant women, they may express alienation from the city about them (Margot Scharpen- berg's "Slum") or a kind of bemused, even defiant joy in their acculturation to the city (Marianne Landre's "Heimat ist der Stuhl, auf dem ich sitze"). They make comparisons between their old and new world experiences (Scharpen- berg's "Rhein - Hudson"), miss things "over there" (Hilla Jaenicke's "Was ich vermisse") and feel inadequate vis-a-vis American women (Jaenicke's "Die amerikanischen Frauen"). My own research has shown that German immigrant women in the Midwest experienced and expressed similar feelings and reactions a century and more ago.

There is something for everyone in this little volume: autobiographical pieces, fiction, meditations, and fun like Shayne Vitemb's "Beach Idyll" ("I lie on / the beach. Du luegst on the beach too.") I congratulate our New York WiG sisters! Wouldn't it be great to have a whole series of similar efforts?

—Linda S. Pickle
Westminster College, MO

(To order copies of Frauenfahrplan 1, send $5.00 per copy to Marianne Goldscheider [redacted]. Make checks payable to M. Goldscheider, and add $1.00 postage for 1-2 copies, or $1.50 for 3 or more copies. The collection is very suitable for use in inter­mediate German classes (sehr aktuell!), and the authors represented in the collection are avail­able for direct contact with students.)

* * * * *

Inge Stephan and Sigrid Weigel, eds. Feministische Literaturwissenschaft: Dokumentation der Tagung in Hamburg vom Mai 1983. Berlin: Argument Sonder­band 120, 1984.

To Inge Stephan and Sigrid Weigel, who perhaps have done more than anyone else in the FRG to institutionalize Women's Studies as a legitimate academic disci­pline, we, as Women in German, certainly owe a huge debt of gratitude. In addition to their previous collaborative and individual efforts in behalf of


BOOKS, continued

feminist literary criticism, they undertook the often thankless task of planning the Hamburg conference in 1983 and of overseeing the inception of an organization of German-speaking feminist scholars. Thus on one level, essays like the introductory "Tagungsbericht" and Helga Grubitzsch's "Ein unheimlicher Widerspruch" document both the formidable opposition to feminist criticism at German universities and the strategies our colleagues are forced to develop to combat it, while Jeanette Clausen's "Sieben Jahre Women in German" presents a model for overcoming certain forms of opposition within the American academic system. On another level, the scholarly niveau of the actual literary/cultural criticism is intended to refute any potential alle­gations that a feminist perspective or methodology may not be "Instituts- fahig." While this latter circumstance often made for, let us say, "strenuous" conference-going, it undeniably enhances the published proceedings.

Some of the essays treat particular authors or problems, but most are of a broader, more theoretical nature. In all, a wide spectrum of feminist perspec­tives is represented here, including one explicitly non-feminist. Some con­tributors like Ulrike Prokop and Inge Stephan examine the image of women in the works of male authors (Lessing/Goethe, Schiller/Kleist) in order to ascer­tain how the emancipatory impulses characterizing the rise of the bourgeoisie or the French Revolution were neutralized in the case of the fairer sex.
Others deal with literature by women: Theresa Sauter-Baillet provides an overview of themes common to American women writers; Irmela von der Luhe dis­putes the applicability of feminist criteria, as she understands them, to a woman writer like Ingeborg Bachmann. The nature of such feminist criticism/ criteria is discussed extensively in an informative and provocative paper by Sigrid Weigel.

Not all of the essays deal with literary issues. Gertrud Koch compares trends in women's filmmaking to the historical development of that medium; Renate Berger presents a photo-documentation of the ways in which women artists per­ceive themselves; and Brigitte Wartmann offers another installment in her evolving theory of the relationship between women's creativity and the economic role they perform in bourgeois society. The volume ends with an appendix containing a list of relevant American doctoral theses (1970-1981), a complete program including the Thesenpapiere, and the topics for the Bielefeld con­ference in 1984. Not having been able to attend the latter, I, for one, shall look forward to the published proceedings of the second annual conference with the high expectations raised by this first one. Thank you Inge and Sigrid.

—Susan L. Cocalis
U. Massachusetts/Amherst


The following list of research projects was collected during the 1984 WIG conference. For some reason, the handwriting seemed harder to read than usual; hope I didn't misquote too many of you. All members of WIG are invited to send information about their research projects to the newsletter.



Doris Stump (Univ. of Zürich, Schweiz)—Dissertation: Meta von Salis, 1855-1929. Schweizer Feministin und Schriftstellerin. Research project: Schweizer Schriftstellerinnen des 19. Jahrhunderts.

Marianne Burkhard (U. Illinois)—Mitarbeiterin am obigen Projekt; Schweizer Schriftstellerinnen der Moderne.

Ruth-Ellen Boetcher Joeres (U. Minnesota)—Books: 1. Catalogue of circa 6000 German items in the Gerritsen Collection of Women's History (Micro­filming Corporation of America, 1983); 2. (with M. J. Maynes) The Condi­tion and Consciousness of German Women, 1780-1920. Studies in the Social and Literary History of German Women (Indiana University Press, 1985); (with Annette Kuhn) Frauenbilder und Frauenwirklichkeiten. (Vol. VI, Frauen in der Geschichte)(Schwann-Bagel, 1985). Articles for Luise Pusch: "Luise Büchner" (for the volume on Schwestern, Insel-Verlag 1984); "Gisela von Arnau" (? sp.?) (Vol. on Töchter); book on 19th century women writers, exemplarische Untersuchungen und Theorie; article for Wege der Forschung (Wiss. Buchges.), volume on social novels by German women, 1850-70; organization of large interdisciplinary project on autobiographies and life histories of women for the new feminist research center at the Univ. of Minnesota, etc.!

Dinah Dodds (Lewis and Clark Coll.)—Took group of students to Thailand, did research on Thai prostitution; two articles are in circulation.

Vicki Kingsbury (Lansing Comm. Coll.)—gave talk in Halle (summer 1984) on Christa Wolf's Moskauer Novelle from the perspective of neurolinguistic programming; plan to develop this into publishable article.

Marlene Heinemann (U. Wyoming, Laramie)—working on book on women writers of the Holocaust, using novels and memoirs; including new work on male and female bonding.

Sara Lennox (U. Mass., Amherst)—Book on Bachmann with emphasis on connection of feminism and imperialism; Bachmann's philosophy of history and several philosophical backgrounds. Essay on Feministische Aufbrüche (USA, France, Italy) for collection edited by Renate Möhrmann.

Susan Cocalis (U. Mass., Amherst)—Monograph on German women novelists in the late 18th and early 19th century. Also, modern performance art in the FRG and in NYC.

Elke Frederiksen (U. Maryland, College Park)—Monograph on Luise Rinser; Reiseliteratur von Frauen im frühen 19. Jahrhundert; bibliography on German­speaking women writers.

Sigrid Brauner (U. California, Berkeley)—Dissertation: The Abbess and the Pastor's Wife—Wie hat die deutsche Reformation die soziale Rolle der Frau geändert? Vergleich der (eigentlich auto-) biographischen Schriften der Äbtissin Charitas Pirkheimer aus Nürnberg und der radikalen Protestantin Katharina Zell. Project: how to teach Women's Studies in German. Workshop at U.C. Berkeley, spring 1985 (I need materials and ideas!) —Is anyone



(Sigrid Brauner, continued):

interested in a bibliography on medieval women in the German area? I have a lot of material, would like to get together with someone else.

Margaret Ward (Wellesley Coll.)—critical biography of Fanny Lewald.

Edith Waldstein (M.I.T.)—Bettina von Arnim book coming out soon. New project on Bertha von Suttner.

Lucia Watson (U. Wisconsin-Madison)—Rahel Varnhagen (any ideas?)

Gerda Fermand (U. Waterloo, Canada)—read paper at tenth annual GDR Symposium (Irmtraud Morgner's Leben und Abenteuer and Peter Hacks' Margarete in Aix:

A New Look at Troubadours in Socialism." Also working on last chapter of diss, (finally): "Awakening and Potency in Works by I. Morgner and G. Wohmann."

Melissa Vogelsang (Yale U.)

Nancy J. Brown (Fairfax County Public Schools, VA)

Tamara Archibald (U. Maryland)—recent M.A. Thesis, "Christa Wolfs Kassandra: Politische Botschaft und feministische Utopie."

Yvonne Poser (U. Maryland and Howard U.)—Diss.: "Improving Foreign Language Reading Strategies. Teaching Control to Achieve Competency."

Susan Ross (U. Maryland)—M.A. Thesis: Image of Women in the Works of Wilhelm Busch.

Irmgard Taylor (SUNY-Cortland)—1. Continuation of effort on "Women and Public Speaking and Debate" (grant proposal); 2. Development of courses on contem­porary Indian culture, including Indian women (South Asia)—sabbatical project; goal:  internationalization of curriculum.

Jeannine Blackwell (Michigan State U.)—1. revising the German literary canon (immer noch); 2. Bekenntnisliteratur pietistischer Frauen; 3. Bekenntnisse aus den Hexenprozessen.

Joey Horsley (U. Mass., Boston)—1. Ingeborg Bachmann, besonders im Zusammen­hang mit feministischer und literarischer Theorie; 2. Irmgard Keun; 3. Exploring pedagogy of Women's Studies as contribution to teaching critical thinking; 4. developing courses (and competency?) and materials for European Women's Studies.

Gail Newman (Williams Coll.)—dissertation (waiting to be defended): Women and the Female Sphere in Novalis. Taking part in critical reading group of/by/for women—need suggestions for German/germanistische texts (in translation). Exploring in general.

Ilse Andrews (New Hampton, NY)—interested in determining what translations are needed for feminist studies—I noticed in the syllabi collection that


(Ilse Andrews, continued):

unavailability of German lit. in translation was a genuine obstacle. As next step, I'd like to participate in a translation project. Please note: This is what I'd like to do.

Linda Frisch (Brandeis U.)—topics connected with dissertation on women in Middle High German maeren—position of women in late Middle Ages (social, theological, literary).

Elisabeth Heinicke (Brandeis U.)—grad, student, comp. lit. Working with Latin American and East German contemporary women's novel, i.e. Luisa Valenzuela, Isabel Allende, Marta Traba, Christa Wolf, Irmtraud Morgner, Anna Seghers.

Brigitte May (U. Maryland, Baltimore County)—Vergangenheitsbewältigung aus der Sicht der Frau; interdisciplinary project (French, German, Spanish): maintenance and expansion of language skills in the third year.

Susanne Zantop (Dartmouth Coll.)—Diss.: "Vorarbeiten zu einer Geschichts­schreibung der Gegenwart: Heinrich Heines Französische Zustände und Mariarro José de Larras Articulor" (? sp.?)—Untersuchung über das Verhältnis von literarischem und historischem Diskurs (kein feministischer Projekt). Cur­rent project on Goethe's "Confessions of a Beautiful Love" - critique of concept of narcisstic woman.

Miriam Jokiniemi (York U., Toronto)—Portrayals of Female Autonomy in Con­temporary GDR Literature.

Susan Wendt-Hildebrandt (U. Windsor, Ontario)—Currently editing interviews (taped during the past year) with German women writers (including K. Struck, K. Petersen, H. Schenk, B. Bronnen, K. Behrens and others), which deal with the writers' beginnings, works, problems, perceptions of the role of fiction, etc.

Lise Weil (Montague, MA)—Writing a dissertation on feminist realism in modern fiction—focusing on Luce Irigaray, Virginia Woolf, and Christa Wolf.

Victoria Joan Moessner (U. Alaska)—19th-20th C. women artists; Reiseliteratur (d.h. Tagebücher von reisenden Frauen); translating women's works.

Dorothy Rosenberg (Colby Coll.)—continuing work on young women writers in the GDR and role models for women in GDR lit., esp. changes in themes or style in writers of the postwar generations. Translation project—seeking funding and organizing translation of GDR and BRD women writers. Women's autobiographies:          Self-presentation and relative weights of the public and private sphere in autobiographies of socially or politically active women 1880-1980.
Lu Märtens—looking for information on Märtens and her contributions to Marxist literary theory.

Gabi Koch (B. U., Emerson Coll.)—interested in feminist teaching strategies within a contextual/communicative method (teaching first-year college in Boston). 20th century German and American women writers. Interested in getting involved in translation projects.



Barton Byg (Boston U.)—circulating: "Kafka Reception in the GDR." Disserta­tion on Straub/Huillet, Film Theory (history and narrative). Projects: 1. Book on Konrad Wolf; 2. Application of Sartre to film theory: Is the camera masculine?

Sylvia C. Krausse (U. of Rhode Island Library)—Bibliogr.: Image of Women in German Literature.

Vibeke R. Keith (New York U.)—Dissertation topic: "Die Politisierung des Literaturbegriffes." Kursbuch 1965-75.

Marilyn Sibley Fries (Yale U.)—forthcoming: anthology of critical essays on Christa Wolf (in English). In progress: book on Christa Wolf; article on the Dedalus-figure in contemporary E. German women's writing; article on Monika Maron; article on German women writers 1870-1970 for anthology of international women's writing.

Barbara Mabee (Ohio State U.)—Dissertation: Die Lyrik von Sarah Kirsch: Entgrenzung als ästhetisches Problem.

Sandy Frieden (U. Houston)—work in progress: contemporary autobiographies; films of Ulrike Ottinger.

Konstanze Bäumer (Syracuse U.)—umgearbeitete Diss, über Bettina von Arnim (wird 1985 bei den Stuttgarter Arbeiten zur Germanistik erscheinen); Artikel über Bettinas Mönchenroman (? sp.?) "Gritta" (??) in Vorbereitung; Rezeption von Bettinas "Goethebuch" in Vorbereitung; Interview mit Ingeborg Drewitz (im August 84 aufgenommen); preparation of "culture capsules" for beginning German language instruction, based on photo material from Berlin (in connec­tion with a Lilly grant).

* * * * *

Pictures on the cover and on p. 33 from Anke Wolf-Graaf, Die verborgene Geschichte der Frauenarbeit. Eine Bildchronik (Beltz 1983). Drawings by Connie Munk (pp. 3 and 8) and Erin Clausen. Other illustrations as indi­cated or from miscellaneous issues of Emma.

Erin, Connie and Jeanette have—mostly!— enjoyed doing WIG newsletters for you.
We appreciate your positive comments and encouragement. It is time, though, to take a rest and do some other things.
(By the way, Connie notes that this issue contains a roll of scotch tape, two bot­tles of liquid paper, and a role of cover-up tape—could you tell?)


Weisefrau, Uta   35
Feminist University
Utopia, USA


This is Newsletter 35. Read your label and renew when numbers match.

Renew now, today, before you forget—sending out reminders is time-consuming and expensive, not to mention boring.

A new dues structure was approved at the October 1983 WiG conference. By increasing the rates for those earning higher salaries, we hope to be able to finance more projects, while still keeping rates low for students, the unem­ployed, and the underemployed.

Please fill out the section below, detach and return with your payment in U.S. dollars (check or money order made out to Women in German). Subscribers outside North America: Please increase the amount in your category by one- third to help defray the cost of postage. Send membership form and payment to: WOMEN IN GERMAN, Dept. of Modern Foreign Languages, Indiana U.-Purdue U., Fort Wayne, IN 46805.

Category      New      Renewing

A student, unemployed 
$3.00 for one year
$5.00 for two years

B annual salary $10,000 
to $15,000                     
$7.00 for one year
$12.00 for two years

C annual salary $15,001 
to $20,000                   
$10.00 for one year
$15.00 for two years

D annual salary $20,001 
to $25,000                   
$13.00 for one year
$20.00 for two years

E annual salary $25,001  
and up                         
$16.00 for one year
$25.00 for two years

F supporting individuals,  
$20.00 for one year
$35.00 for two years

G suppoting documents   
$25.00 per year

Please fill in address exactly as you wish it to appear on mailing label. No more than four lines! Please type or print clearly.

Name __________

Address ______________

CHECK IF APPLICABLE: change of address___

Women in German Newsletter
Dept. of Modern Foreign Languages
Indiana U.-Purdue U.
Fort Wayne, IN 46805




Women in German Archives




Women in German






Still Image







Unknown, “November 1984 Newsletter,” Women in German Herstory Project, accessed October 2, 2022,